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New Orleans Saints vs. Philadelphia Eagles -2.5
For so many reasons, the Saints seemed like a sure thing.
They're due on the road. All the stories about their road woes almost make it seem overblown at this point.
But the Saints were 0-3 on the road against playoff teams and only 3-2 against the rest. The domed game against St. Louis was especially scary considering the January weather in Philly won't be nearly as inviting.
However, there's also Philly's troublesome secondary. The Eagles gave up more passing yards than any other team this season and face a quarterback who has thrown for over 5,000 yards four times in his career.
But the Eagles are adept at creating takeaways. And they also don't turn the ball over (two picks for Foles). The Saints? They were the worst team in the NFC at forcing turnovers.
Opportunities will be huge in a game between two similarly stacked offenses. In the end, the Eagles will have more of them, and they only need three points to cover the spread in an outdoor game during the peak of winter.
So much for that sure thing.
Pick: Eagles -2.5
San Francisco 49ers -3 vs. Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers makes one heck of a home dog, but Green Bay's home-field advantage isn't worth much against a team that only lost two games on the road.
Besides, if the weather forces a physical game where passes are difficult to bring it, the 49ers are better equipped to deal with that brand of play.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh and company have been holding defensive lynchpin Justin Smith back this year in an effort to keep him fresh.
Fresh for the playoffs. We all know Smith is the guy who can manhandle and frustrate an offensive line into paying too much attention to him, leading to one-on-one matchups for San Francisco's bevy of pass-rushers.
Plus, the 49ers don't have the glaring holes anywhere on their team that the Packers have on defense. There's a reason San Francisco is favored. They don't care that Rodgers is back.
Pick: 49ers -3